Atlantic Ocean — The U.S. Coast Guard has been tirelessly searching for a Titanic submersible that went missing in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The submersible was carrying five passengers, including renowned British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding. According to authorities, the passengers on board have less than 40 hours of oxygen remaining.
The Titanic submersible is feared to be lost 12,500 feet below the surface, a depth that is pitch black with near freezing temperatures of 0 to 3 degrees Celsius. At this depth, water pressure is about 380 times greater than on land, equivalent to being trapped under a 100-story tower made of lead. For context, 12,500 feet is roughly equal to stacking nine Empire State Buildings on top of each other.
Hamish Harding is known for his adventurous spirit. A friend and fellow explorer, Yannick Mickelson, described Harding as “larger than life.” He has been to space, ventured to the Earth’s deepest point, and visited the South Pole. Mickelson, who was mentored by Harding, is currently training to be a polar explorer near the North Pole.
Retired U.S. Navy submarine Captain, David Markey, provided insight into the risks involved in submersible expeditions. He pointed out that proper design, meticulous tracking of components, and exhaustive testing are critical for safe submarine operations. He highlighted that some risks are unavoidable, but efforts should be made to minimize any avoidable risks.
Captain Markey is concerned about the abrupt end of communication with the submersible, which likely signifies that the crew has been incapacitated. He expressed fears that there might have been a fire on board, oxygen depletion, or water flooding due to a corroded fitting.
Dr. Michael Yeen, a journalist who became the first TV correspondent in history to report from the wreck of the Titanic, reflected on his own near-tragic experience in a submersible in 2000. He vividly recalled being stuck under one of the Titanic’s gigantic propellers for nearly an hour, grappling with the thought that it might have been the end for him. His submersible’s pilot’s skillful maneuvering ultimately saved them.
The current rescue mission has faced numerous challenges due to the depth at which the submersible is speculated to be located. The families and friends of those aboard are bracing for bad news, but still hold on to the sliver of hope for a miracle.
As the clock ticks, the world awaits updates on the mission. In the meantime, thoughts and prayers go out to those aboard the missing submersible and their families.